6 reasons you simply have to try stand up paddle boarding in the Turks and Caicos today!

27th November 2018 9:42 am

Stand up paddle boarding has been around for a long time now -in fact, the Big Blue Collective is proud to be among the first providers to offer it here in the TCI. It’s certainly seeing a surge in popularity at the moment, however, so what better time for us to introduce you to the sport that makes us so very passionate? Before you know it, you’ll be here to share the fun with us- we guarantee it.

Rising global popularity

Stand up paddle boarding, affectionately known as SUP among practitioners of the sport, has become one of the most popular water sports in America and even seen a surge among the canals and waterways of the U.K. It’s thought to have origins deep in Africa, but it surged to prominence more recently around Hawaii in the ‘sixties as travellers began to use their canoes a little untraditionally!

No matter its origins, though, there’s little doubt this sport is booming today. Here are just 6 of the many great reasons you need to try stand up paddle boarding for yourself, today!

  1. SUP is easy to learn

Water sports may seem intimidating to begin learning- but stand up paddle boarding breaks through a lot of that barrier. The boards are wide and stable, and you can start off in placid, shallow water and still have a ton of fun.  We know it can get discouraging if you struggle with a sport everyone claims is ‘easy’, but stand up paddle boarding really is hugely accessible to a wide range of people- and our friendly Big Blue Collective instructors are always at hand to help you get better and better, too.

If you have any experience in the sport, you’ll know of Dave Kalama and his mastery of the sport of SUP. Here’s a pro tip from the Big Blue Collective- he’s here in the TCI to teach his famous Kalama Kamp program once a year, so why not come and join in on the fun?

2. Bring the whole family…

And we really do mean the whole family! We even offer specialised training for older children, and the seniors among you will be longing to start too once you see the fun. Focusing more on enjoyable, relaxing activity then pressurised sport and super-quick reflexes, stand up paddle boarding in the Turks and Caicos really is a great way to reconnect with each other and have fun at the same time.

3…or don’t, if you’re a loner!

Paddle boarding is a great bonding experience for the family, or a perfect way to relax and unwind with your friends. But it’s also a sport you can enjoy safely solo, once you have the basics down pat. So if you’re headed for a solo spin through the Caribbean, don’t let that stop you from dropping in and joining the fun. We offer one-on-one tuition to help you get started, too.

4. Quiet contemplation

It’s not every water sport that can call itself perfect for a little meditative contemplation, but stand up paddle boarding in the TCI is ideal for a little relaxation at a soul level. Head out on one of Big Blue Collective’s fabulous eco-tours and drink in the beauty of this almost-untouched environment. Watch stingray and dolphins flit happily between you in the glassy sea, admire the glowing shoals of fish, and allow the still perfection of one of nature’s most beautiful corners to wash away your cares. Explore the back channels and mangrove groves and marvel at nature, or play in the crystal blue water of the sheltered bays– whatever your style of adventure, stand up paddle boarding in the Turks and Caicos brings you memories that will last a lifetime.

5. Keep up with your gym bod

Jet skis and motorised water sports are fun, but they don’t do much to chase away the holiday bulge! Gently self-powered, stand up paddle boarding is a great way to combine sport and fun on your holiday with zero pressure. It’s a fabulous workout for the shoulders and arms as well as your core, legs, back and even your balance. If you’re looking for a little extra adrenaline, you can also catch a wave or two on your way back, too! Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to be super-fit to do stand up paddle boarding in the Turks and Caicos- just up to a little activity and equipped with a great sense of humour!

6. Easy to afford

Don’t worry that stand up paddle boarding is going to be an expensive sport to keep up if the bug bites you! While not all water sports have the most affordable price points out there, stand up paddle boarding is far kinder on the pocket. If you’re new to the sport, the Big Blue Collective’s paddleboard instruction allows you to rent equipment, too. Just bring yourself if packing all your gear is too annoying- we’ll do the rest. Just don’t miss out on a chance to experience this sport in one of the most spectacular destinations in the world.  

Keen to try your hand at this exciting sport? We don’t blame you- stand up paddle boarding in the TCI simply has to be on everyone’s bucket list! Why not get in touch with the Big Blue Collective’s friendly team today, and book your experience now? We’re waiting to hear from you!

 



Explore the untouched Mangrove swamps of the TCI

9th July 2018 7:10 am

The beauty of the Turks and Caicos Islands offers so much more than just her beaches- although they are magnificent too! Over one-third of this unique territory is blessed by near-untouched mangrove swamps, offering a wealth of bird and marine life as well as spectacular water sports experiences to the eager visitors who come here. This utterly unique ecosystem [don’t let the word ‘swamp’ give you the wrong idea] has had a profound effect on the geography and history of the TCI, and Big Blue Collective’s SUP eco tours offer you the perfect opportunity to experience this lush, uniquely Caribbean phenomenon for yourself. We’re proud to offer the best mangrove experiences in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands, right here waiting for you!

Why the Mangroves matter so much

Without the unique mangrove heritage of the islands, the face of the Turks and Caicos- and, in fact, the whole Caribbean- would be completely different. Mangroves in the Caribbean can be thought of as the ‘lungs’ of the island…and, in fact, the world. They breathe new life into the unique and fragile ecosystem of the area, one tide at a time. These unique areas of dense vegetation help to protect the shoreline, preventing erosion as the waters move in and out, and preserving the spectacular powder-soft beaches of the area for our enjoyment. When storms [even the sometimes damaging hurricane winds] move in on the area, the mangroves offer a vital buffer to help shelter bird life and the unique coastline from the powerful winds. Their roots hold the precious soils of the area steady, while also keeping the water quality high through filtering sediments and potential pollutants from entering the system.

They have another use too- and that’s part of what makes snorkelling the mangroves such a rewarding experience. Think of them as a ‘nursery’ for the many marine species that call these exquisite waters home. From tiny shrimp and molluscs right through to tropical fish, the mangrove habitats of the Caribbean offer rich food sources and sheltered waters for them to grow and thrive. Threatened, endangered and rare species such as sea turtles can all be found taking shelter in this area of easy food and calm waters, making them one of the most vital ecosystems in the area. In some parts of the world [although not in the TCI itself], mangroves even offer an easy, sustainable source of tannins, wood, natural dyes, charcoal and very much more, helping man and nature thrive together. That’s why Big Blue Collective believe so strongly in the SUP eco tour experience and its many benefits for visitors to the area

Tell me more about SUP eco tours through the mangroves in the TCI

Big Blue Collective have been everywhere- and we’re here to share the TCI’s secrets with you! There’s no part of the Turks and Caicos we don’t know like the back of our own hands, so who better to help you explore this dazzling area for yourself? Stand up paddle boarding is possibly one of the most openly accessible water sports there is, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Beginners taking their very first tentative steps with the paddleboard will find the ‘flat’ areas of the TCI perfect to hone their burgeoning skills, while more experienced paddle boarders will find plenty to entertain and challenge them at every turn. Once you have some confidence in the sport- which you can easily gain on sight here with our Paddle Fit instructors and in our home bay- you can experience the diverse joys of our SUP eco tours for yourself. While the bustling hubs of Provo and Grand Turk offer you tons of exciting experiences, the true joys of the TCI lie in her more remote areas along North, Middle and South Caicos such as her unique mangrove channels…perfect to explore under the watchful eyes of our guides. Round out the celebration with a picnic on a near-deserted beach before heading to Daniel’s Cafe for some tasty seafood and cocktails.

Snorkelling in the Caribbean mangroves

As we mentioned above, the Caribbean mangroves incubate the unique bird and marine life of the TCI, making snorkelling in this area one of the most rewarding snorkel trips you’ll ever take. Big Blue Collective’s range of experience with snorkelling is such that we’ve even helped open a new snorkelling cave spot on West Caicos, so you know we can walk the talk too! The shallow reefs throughout the area offer spectacular viewing opportunities for a traditional snorkel experience too, so you’ll have an unparalleled chance to experience two richly diverse snorkelling environments in one tour too. If you’re looking for something truly unique to experience, we highly recommend our night snorkelling tour, the ‘edge of the banks adventure’. This boating adventure will see you exploring French Cay, West Caicos and other elements of the remote islands to find virgin reefs in all their unspoilt glory- with only the rarest boat sightings to intrude on the view. Secret spots will unfold around you, open ocean encounters with the friendly marine life await, and there’s even the chance we’ll spot dolphins and whales at play as we go. This tour showcases the passion big Blue Collective has for action, adventure and education in one, and will leave you with memories that beg to be recorded by your cameras.

From our SUP eco tours to the unique chance to snorkel among the mangroves of the islands, Big Blue Collective will help you create the ultimate Caribbean mangrove experience, a spectacularly unique way to enjoy everything the TCI has to offer you.



Kamala Kamp and Big Blue Collective: The ultimate stand up paddle board adventure in the Turks and Caicos

19th July 2018 7:09 am

What could be better than stand up paddle boarding in the beautiful turquoise waters of the TCI? Doing it with the experience and skill of the Kalama Kamp guide [and Big Blue Collective’s certified Paddle Fit instructors] to hone your skills while the beauty of the TCI National Park unfolds around you!

Enjoy this fantastic sport with this experienced team while the mangrove channels of the National Park glimmer at you right across from our offices, waiting for you to explore them. Concerned that your skills need a little brush-up? No worries- the team has you covered with expert instruction. Experience the ultimate stand up paddle boarding retreat in true Turks and Caicos style- it’s the trip of a lifetime you’ll want to repeat again and again.

What does Kalama Kamp in the TCI offer?

Picture a simple boat ride on crisp, clear water kicking off this dream holiday, and you’re already close to what awaits you. Kamala Kamp guides will escort you through the active water-sport holiday retreat to beat all others, with 6 days of all-out, totally inclusive water and wave adventure awaiting you. Think of it as a stand up paddle boarding retreat featuring only you and a tiny, select group of others to ensure everyone gets personal attention. The Kalama Kamp guides are some of the world’s ultimate watermen, spending their lives immersed in nuances of the sport and the beauty of the islands that support it. You’ll receive personalised daily instruction on stand up paddle boarding from Dave Kalama himself- enough of a lure in itself- but there’s so very much more to the experience too. Immerse yourself fully in the joys of water sports in the TCI, enjoying daily beach workouts and night’s filled with fun, fun, fun. Through the partnership with Big Blue Collective and Club Med, you’ll have the best week of your life.

What extras are included?

Experience the wonders of the TCI national park for yourself on our staggeringly gorgeous eco tours, which come as part and parcel of the experience. This is a national park with a difference- after all, so much of the Turks and Caicos territory is underwater, with the perfect pristine environment for coral growth, instead of the land parks we’re used too. The Islanders work hard to ensure all tourist activities in the area work synergistically with the environment, with boat and diving pollution kept to the utmost minimum, and Big Blue Collective supports these endeavours wholeheartedly. We live in a spectacular time for coral, with growth and recovery dramatically boosted by the lack of severe hurricane damage over the last 30 years, so there is literally no time like the present to experience the wonders of the TCI reefs. While climate change hasn’t been without its own impact on the area, the time is most definitely now to experience it in all its glory. The same reefs that proved the perfect hiding spots for privateers and pirates in the past, helping to shape the very bones of this unique island culture, are now waiting for you to explore them.

Snorkel trips to the outer reefs of the Turks and Caicos will see you take your stand up paddle boarding skills to the max, while a full moon paddle will leave you with uniquely beautiful memories that will last forever [and a story that will earn you drinks in any pub worldwide]. This beautiful corner of the Caribbean offers lush native vegetation, soft white beaches and the classic heart-tugging blue seas that call to the soul. Seeing them under the sparkle of moonlight- and testing your SUP skills at the same time- is truly magnificent.

Explore the mangrove channels with your certified Paddle Fit instructors, and let the spectacular marine and birdlife that call this area home unfold around you. SUP surfing will thrill you with its adrenaline-packed action. In short, if it can be done on the water you’ll have a chance to experience it in this jam-packed action adventure. Explore the TCI’s beautiful beaches, and her off-the-beaten-path ecosystems in all their glory. You may even get a chance to spot whales and dolphins at play as you paddle board, or meet the iguanas of Iguana island!

Breathe in the singular atmosphere and culture of the Turks and Caicos

If the unique culture of the area calls to you, you’ll also have time to explore the sights of the two main islands and the many remnants of the salt industry and plantations that once thrived in the area. Learn more about the domestic fishing trade that boosts the economy of the area, and meet the friendly locals and learn more about their lives on the islands too. Allow the glory of one of the last unspoilt areas of the Caribbean, free from the hectic demands of high tourism, to refresh your soul, then challenge yourself against her flat seas and trade winds. Where else in the world can you stand on a Caribbean beach, stand up paddle board lapping in the water next to you, and be virtually alone as you celebrate catching the perfect downwinder and riding it the whole way? Your only difficulty will be leaving it to go back home! Be sure to bring your camera to capture every moment of the trip to share with friends and loved ones.

Use this unique stand up paddle boarding retreat to hone your skills under the guidance of Kalama Kamp guides who have mastered the waves as few others can. If you’d like to know a little more about the 2017 Kalama Kamp experience, you can find out more here… or simply drop us a line today and ensure you’re part of the 2018 line-up! Big Blue Collective is happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you craft the perfect SUP experience within the beautiful confines of the TCI National Park.



Turks and Caicos Weather in January

10th January 2018 3:19 pm

People from all over the world enjoy escaping to Turks and Caicos in the New Year, to escape the January blues and colder climates for a relaxed, warm and beautiful holiday destination.

Turks and Caicos weather in January

The weather conditions on the islands further improve from the already enjoyable month of December, and January has a daily average of 11 hours of sun. The air temperature is consistently warm and ranges from 75 – 79 degrees, while the sea temperature is also a pleasant 75 – 77 degrees, making it a great time to enjoy watersports and swimming.

With only 2 rainy days in January, it is a great time to shake off the winter blues and relax on the golden beaches of Turks and Caicos.

Turks and Caicos in January

Due to the favorable weather conditions, January is in the peak season for visitors to Turks and Caicos and as a result the beaches and hotels are busier than some of the summer months that fall in stormy seasons.

As well as the fine weather, one of the most popular reasons to visit the islands in January is due to the start of the humpback whale season, where visitors can take whale watching trips to spot these majestic creatures on their migration from around the world to the Caribbean, where they mate and give birth in the shallow banks near Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic.

Mosquitos

Visitors to Turks and Caicos don’t need to worry about high mosquito levels during January, as this is generally one of the best months of the year for low mosquito activity. January is well away from the hurricane season, which sees flooding and tropical cyclones that can stir up mosquitos. What’s more, they’re particularly less common after the windy months of November and December, as the strong winds keep them at bay.

We recommend travelers come prepared with bug repellent, but overall January is a great time of year to enjoy the environment without the nuisance of mosquitos.

Activities

Turks and Caicos is known for its pleasant climate all year round, but January in particular is one of the best months for a host of different activities. The sea is calm and warm, so fans of swimming, sailing and water sports will not be disappointed. Here’s some of the things you can get up to in January:

Stand up paddle boarding

If you want to get involved with the fastest growing watersport in the world and like the idea of paddle boarding across the clear, pristine waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands then a January getaway is just what you need.

The wind speed across the ocean can start to pick up around this time, which can make the waters a bit choppy, however the shallow waters are still protected and provide a calm surface to enjoy the sport safely, and see the ocean floor below.

Kayaking

The warm temperatures and still waters surrounding the archipelago make great conditions to explore the many winding channels and tidal creeks across the islands. You’ll spot a host of wildlife in January, as they enjoy the mild and calm weather, you can even take your kayak straight into the nature reserves and explore at your own pace. To make the most of your experience, why not camp overnight; Big Blue Limited can help you plan your kayaking adventure, contact us today to discuss the different options.

Snorkeling and Diving

The tropical reefs that surround the Turks and Caicos Islands are phenomenal sight that should not be missed when you visit the islands. Snorkelers can see up close the beautiful species of fish, coral and wildlife that call the reef home, and explore the area safely and respectfully with the help of Big Blue Collective’s guides.

With calm, warm and clear waters in January, snorkeling is a very popular activity at this time of year, but the added excitement of spotting a migrating humpback whale is definitely the icing on the cake. Our dive teams watch out for the movements of the whales, and when spotted they alert any upcoming snorkel trips for the best place to go to encounter the beautiful creatures up close.

Those visitors who want to explore even deeper can take diving trips with the expert Big Blue Collective dive boats and instructors. Unlike other dive operators, our team continually dive all of the five major dive areas around the area, covering Grace Bay, Pine Cay, North West Point, West Caicos and French Cay. We also have an excellent track record of diving in the right locations to encounter whales and dolphins, including the humpback whales which can be spotted in January.

Events

One of the most notable January events in Turks and Caicos is the Junkanoo Jump Up, a celebration which happens as the clocks strike midnight for New Year. A sea of islanders in colorful masks and costumes celebrate in the streets, with traditional African dance and music that goes on until the early morning. Visitors can expect impressive firework displays to bring in the New Year and an enjoyable carnival atmosphere.

With the great weather and a host of exciting activities available, it’s easy to see why visitors enjoy spending January on the Turks and Caicos Islands. The team at Big Blue Collective can help you make the most of your time here and explore the breathtaking islands in a number of ways. Whether its paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling or diving, our instructors and guides have everything you need to take to the waters and see the beautiful ocean wildlife and nature up close.

We can also arrange inland walking and biking trips to venture off the beaten path and uncover the hidden history of the island, with remnants of the very first settlers to the islands just waiting to be explored. Contact Big Blue Collective today to talk to our friendly and helpful team and find out how to plan your perfect getaway to Turks and Caicos.



5 Environmental Friendly Activities of a Turks and Caicos Excursion

25th October 2017 8:26 am

One of the reasons why the Turks and Caicos are so attractive to tourists is because of its natural formations. The sparkling clear waves and powder-like sand would lose all their appeal if there was litter all across the beaches.

Fortunately, there are many ways environmentally conscious tourists can enjoy the islands while helping to preserve the natural beauty of the Turks and Caicos.

Big Blue Collective’s Eco Philosophy

Our philosophy is to bring you the best adventures with the least environmental impact possible. We keep our group excursions small for two big reasons:

  1. Smaller groups minimize environmental impact
  2. Smaller groups maximize your experiences on the reef, in the mangroves, and in the ocean

This philosophy has been constantly refined over 20 years of our operation, and we are constantly exploring new ways to experience the islands in the best possible way. This evolution of our mission has helped us develop an operation that now has:

  • Over 40 kayaks
  • Over 20 stand up paddleboards
  • A fleet of bikes across four islands of the Caicos island group

Year after year, we find new ways to discover the Turks and Caicos and better ways to do so. While our vision gets refined, we have never wavered in working with the community to maintain a sustainable approach to adventure tourism.

Here are five ways we want to help you appreciate the Turks and Caicos without leaving a single mark on the environment.

1) Kayak in the Turks and Caicos

Kayaking is one of the best ways to traverse the beaches, mangrove channels, and areas around the cays without leaving a mark on the environment. As long as you don’t flip, you don’t even have to worry about your sunscreen residue either!

Any accessible waterway can be explored by kayak while you’re on the Turks and Caicos islands. You don’t have to stay on one island either. Kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport with boats and trailers so you can truly explore a lot of different areas with kayaks.

2) Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddleboard (or SUP) is similar to kayaking in that it’s a great way to explore the waterways. One added benefit of stand up paddleboarding is that the elevated position from standing gives you a better view than from a kayak. You can see farther and have a wider area of view of what’s beneath you in the reefs.

3) Snorkeling and Diving

Humans spend so much time on land that it’s so easy to forget an ecosystem beneath the waves.

Snorkeling can be a real eye opener that allows you to see a whole new world of fish, coral, sharks, rays, and more.

If you want to go even deeper, diving can be a real treat. You can “scale” massive vertical walls and and descend drops and witness life in a myriad of depths. The Turks and Caicos is a tough place to beat in terms of quality dive sites.

4) Water-based Eco Tours

There are even special eco-tours you can take while on a stand up paddle board. You get to venture into mangrove channels and national parks to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters near reefs and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your board.

There are also snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites where you learn about the ecosystem.  Knowledgeable guides can help you identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

5) Out Island Eco Tours

The roots and culture of the Caicos Islands are found on North, Middle and South Caicos. Big Blue Collective has several outposts on these islands and have an extensive network of guides, bikes, kayaks and boats to give you an incredibly interactive ecotourism excursion that reveals the amazing ecology as well as culture of the islands.

Book an Environmentally Friendly Excursion Today!

Contact us now and explore the Turks and Caicos in an environmentally conscious and friendly way.



It’s Not Too Late to Sign Up for Kalama Kamp 2017!

9th October 2017 3:11 pm

Big Blue Collective is proud to partner with Dave Kalama for his annual Kalama Kamp. This year marks the 7th installment of the weeklong Kalama Kamp Turks and Caicos beginning on October 7, and ending on October 14.

What Is Kalama Kamp?

Kalama Kamp is magical weeklong event that is led by Dave Kalama where you can become a better stand up paddleboarder in one of the best paddling locations in the world. The Turks and Caicos are a group of islands in the Caribbean that is surrounded by calm, crystal clear blue water. It’s an amazing experience any avid stand up paddleboarding enthusiast should sign up for.

This year’s Kalama Kampers will be hosted in Private Villa accommodations.

Costs

All prices are shown in USD. An additional 4.166% sales tax will added to your total.

  • Single Occupancy (King Bed, private bathroom): $4950
  • Double Occupancy (King Bed, private bathroom) with a single Kalama Kamp participant: $2200
  • Double Occupancy (King Bed, private bathroom) with both people participating: $4700 per person
  • On island resident rate / no accommodation (full course, 2 meals per day) $3000
  • On island resident rate / no accommodation (half course, 1 meals per day) $1600
  • Deposit : $500

What’s Included:

  • A selection of stand up paddleboards, paddles, hydration packs and leashes
  • Boat support where needed (i.e.: on the waves/ reef, for down winders and “backcountry” safaris)
  • Luxury Private Villa accommodations with pool
  • All meals provided by our private local in-house chef (except two lunches and one fish fry dinner excursion)
  • All local accommodation taxes included
  • Airport transfers and land transport

What’s Not Included:

  • Flights. Guests must make their own flight arrangements to Providenciales (PLS)
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks available at cost at Villa
  • Gratuity for guides

Who is Dave Kalama?

Dave Kalama is a waterman, pure and simple. He is a watersport celebrity who has a following in big wave surfing, stand up paddleboarding, windsurfing, outrigger canoe racing, and more. He frequently partners with longtime friend and fellow big wave surfing pioneer, Laird Hamilton, to promote the watersports.

Kalama’s resume is densely packed with major accomplishments, including:

  • Co-developing of the big wave surfing technique of tow-in surfing
  • Promoting and mastering stand up paddleboarding, an ancient Hawaiian mode of water transportation and watersport
  • Taking on increasingly longer solo paddle events between various Hawaiian islands
  • Co-developing foil surfing
  • Being awarded the Beacon Award at the Maui Film Festival for “helping to revive the surf film genre”
  • Being featured in big wave riding films and photographs while riding the largest ocean waves in recorded history
  • Appearing in the opening sequence of the James Bond film, Die Another Day

There Are Still Spots Remaining!

Don’t miss out on a stand up paddleboarding experience of a lifetime. With just a few spots remaining, you can still sign up for this year’s Kalama Kamp!

 

Email reach@kalamakamp.com to inquire for more information or visit www.kalamakamp.com to sign up!



Turks and Caicos Weather in July

1st July 2017 11:37 am

Because the islands are near the equator, the Turks and Caicos is said to experience about 350 days of sun each year and with seasons that are better described as wet and dry rather than spring, summer, fall, and winter. Turks and Caicos weather in July is generally warm and humid. However, July does fall within the rainy season and is categorized as a part of the hurricane season. Fortunately, the Turks and Caicos has experienced few hurricanes in the month of July.

Turks and Caicos Weather in July

While localized weather patterns can’t be predicted long term with strong accuracy, the Turks and Caicos temperatures in July tends to be average between 30.5°C and 26.5°C (or 87°F and 80°F respectively).

Turks and Caicos receives an average of 30 mm (or 1.181 inches) of precipitation in July. Interestingly, if it does rain, it tends to rain mid-afternoon.

Officially, July is part of the hurricane season (from June 1 to November 30), but hurricanes are actually rare for the islands. In fact, the Turks and Caicos has only suffered damages in 2008 (Grand Turk and South Caicos) from Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Hanna, in 1960 from Hurricane Donna, and in 1926. Hurricane Ike damaged 80% of Grand Turk’s structures.

You should always pay attention to and monitor weather reports regardless of when you visit. While it is historically unlikely for hurricanes to develop, it’s still nice to be forewarned of any rain!

Turks and Caicos in July

The Turks and Caicos is a year round destination, but July is typically categorized as an off-peak travel month (with November through December considered peak travel). This means if you look carefully and don’t mind the chance of rain, you can find great Turks and Caicos resort deals.

Mosquitos

Keep in mind that the Turks and Caicos are in the natural habitable range of mosquitos. The presence of mosquitoes on the islands is greatly influenced by the amount of rain, so mosquitoes generally aren’t a problem in July unless there’s heavy rainfall.

Turks and Caicos weather in July may increase the encounter of mosquitoes. However, that also varies by where you are located.

Grace Bay and other tourist regions in Providenciales usually see far fewer mosquitoes than the more remote west coast. Also, areas that are in the path of eastern trade winds usually minimize mosquito presence.

Grand Turk and Salt Cay also have less serious mosquito problems because these places lack dense vegetation and there aren’t many natural sites that collect rainwater or form pools, which are common mosquito spawning grounds. They are also experience breezes that aren’t conducive to mosquitos.

However, North and Middle Caicos, Parrot Cay, and Pine Cay, have many sites that are ideal mosquito spawning sites and tourists can experience severe mosquito exposure after heavy rains.

Activities

July conditions are great for watersports during this time. The seas are generally fairly calm and while it’s hot, there’s almost always a gentle breeze to take the bite out of the heat. If it rains, you’re already in the water!

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches. This makes stand up paddleboarding a great activity for families, kids, or people who want a more relaxed activity.

Some special tours using paddleboards include eco-tours you can take to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters near reefs and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your board.

Kayaking

Kayaking is great to explore beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and around the cays. It’s a quiet and non-intrusive way to get close up pictures of wildlife like iguanas and birds.

Like paddleboarding, you can embark on kayak eco-tours that let you explore the Turks and Caicos’ natural beauty.

Snorkeling and Diving

Underwater activities are great because the Turks and Caicos islands are surrounded by natural reefs teeming with sealife, giving you plenty of exciting sites to explore.

In fact, there are snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites.  Knowledgeable guides can help you identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

If you’re more comfortable with deep waters, diving is an excellent July activity. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

Kiteboarding

With the islands located in an intersection of trade winds and surrounded by beaches that are shallow for hundreds of feet out, kiteboarding is one of the most popular activities in the Turks and Caicos..

It’s easy to find PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors with decades of experience with many of them participating in kiteboarding events.

Events

The Race for the Conch Eco-Seaswim is a 0.8km, 1.6 km, and 3.7 km (0.5 mile, 1 mile, and 2.4 mile) competitive swimming event with a  special 100 metre race is held for those 12 and under. It’s an amateur competition so families can register to race on their vacation!

Another event is Windvibes, the Turks and Caicos’ only kiteboarding event. It has been an annual competition since 2007 and has grown to include kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and swimming events.

Less competitive events will include log throwing, a flipper race, potato sack race, limbo, and kite pumping competitions. You don’t need to be a kiteboarder to get involved! It generally occurs between the months of June and November.



7 Things You Can’t Get from Turks and Caicos Resorts

26th June 2017 11:12 am

Turks and Caicos resorts are world famous for offering the highest levels of luxury and service in the Caribbean islands. You have a lot of variety too, from stylish guestrooms to fully equipped private villas that are outfitted with your own pools and personal chef.

While these five-star Turks and Caicos resorts and hotels are stunningly beautiful and relaxing, they can be a little lacking in things to do. To truly enjoy Turks and Caicos, you need to step beyond the resort grounds and into the pristine beaches, dive beneath the waves, or cruise above the waterline.

Here is a list of activities you might not be able to get from Turks and Caicos resorts—even the all-inclusive ones.

#7 Private Charters

Spending your entire vacation at a Turks and Caicos resort is relaxing, but you’ll actually be missing a lot of what makes the islands so special. There’s so much to see above and below the waves.

Hire a private charter during your stay and you can experience Turks and Caicos in the way it was meant to be experienced. Avoid the tourist attractions and head out into the water. You’ll visit hidden and secluded beaches where you and your group will be the only people in sight.  

Many private charters are also outfitted with snorkeling and diving equipment so you can always explore the sites you visit.

#6 Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding (or SUP) is actually offered by some Turks and Caicos resorts, however the rates can get a little pricey and you’ll have to content yourself with being one among hundreds of stand up paddleboarders on the beach.

Instead, leave the resort and rent your own from a trusted vendor. You will have a lot more freedom of where to go and for how long your want to stay out on the water. There are even special eco-tours you can take where you can explore mangrove channels and national parks to safely and respectfully view the delicate ecosystems and nesting birds.

#5 Kayaking

Kayaking is another sometimes-offered activity by a resort. Renting your own kayak is a popular way to explore beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and the cays either on your own or on a tour.

There are even opportunities to join private multi-day kayak expedition where you can venture deeper into the national parks and nature reserves. There are also special hours you can kayak to catch the sunset. These kayak expeditions and sunset hours frequently take place away from the busy crowds that spawn from the resorts along Grace Bay Beach.

Similarly to stand up paddleboarding, kayak rentals are reasonable and there are a variety of options.

#4 Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a must-do activity during your stay at on the islands no matter which Turks and Caicos resort or hotel you are staying at. The area around the islands is perfect for snorkeling, giving you unmatched views of colorful reefs and the surrounding sea life.

While the resorts and hotels are often found near beautiful beaches, these beaches aren’t ideal for snorkeling. They are often full of tourists and the beaches, while lovely to relax and walk on, lack the exciting underwater scenery. You’ll have to venture to more isolated places away from the resorts to get the best snorkeling experience.

There are also snorkeling tours that will take you out to quieter snorkel sites.  Knowledgeable guides can help you identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

#3 Diving

Like snorkeling, Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales island isn’t suited for diving. What makes the beaches so great also makes for poor diving conditions. The water is shallow for dozens of yards out. Because of this, the hotels and resorts don’t offer the best SCUBA excursions.

If you’re more comfortable with deep waters, Turks and Caicos is a tough place to beat in terms of quality dive sites. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

There are plenty of diving companies that can take you to amazing dive sites teeming with fish, turtles, rays, sharks, and eels.

#2 Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding is an exciting activity that many resorts can’t accommodate. Learning how to kiteboard requires PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors, and because it’s such a fun sport, the beginner classes that the resorts do have are often full.

However, since Turks and Caicos is such a hotspot for kiteboarding, it’s easy to find instructors outside of the resorts with decades of experience. Class sizes are small and some even offer private lessons that can help beginners get a good run or an advanced intermediate pick up and refine the more flashy techniques.

#1 Whale Watching

If you are visiting between November to February, you’re visiting at a great time for whale and dolphin watching. This period coincides with the humpback whale migration as they transit towards their northern feeding grounds.

The resorts and hotels hardly ever have their own boats to take guests to see whales but there are plenty of whale watching charters around the island during this time.

Even if you are out on a private charter to snorkel or dive, the boat captains are always in communication and will take you the last sightings of whales if you and the other passengers are game. You might even have the chance to snorkel or dive with whales!

 



5 Ways to Enjoy the Turks and Caicos Islands

17th May 2017 11:31 am

Vacationing in Turks and Caicos is one of the best traveling decisions you will ever make. The archipelago nation’s tourism strikes a careful balance between luxury resorts complete with royal treatment and nature reserves brimming with life and beauty and waiting to be explored.

 

Whether you are are traveling family, a honeymooning couple, or a solo adventurer, there are plenty of ways to enjoy and experience the Turks and Caicos Islands. And because it’s made up of seven main islands and over 40 smaller islands and cays, it’s easy to find a site that suits you and your vacation pursuits.

 

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: hitting the beaches. Providenciales has several beaches that are consistently ranked among the best in the world by Condé Nast magazine and World Travel Awards. There’s good reason too. With stunning white beaches made of powder soft sand and clear turquoise waters, these beaches are what people think of when they imagine a Caribbean paradise while daydreaming in front of their laptops during a conference call at work.

 

However, if you don’t want to spend your entire trip lounging at the beach, here are some of the favorite and most popular picks by tourists while you vacation in Turks and Caicos.

#1 Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle board (or SUP) can be done by nearly anybody and nearly anywhere. The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches. This makes it a great activity for families, kids, or people who want a more relaxed activity.

 

The great thing about SUP is that it is what you make of it whether you’re a beginner or seasoned paddle boarder. It can be a leisurely way to sightsee or it can be a full body workout—whatever you’re in the mood for.

 

There are even special eco-tours you can take while on a stand up paddle board. You get to venture into mangrove channels and national parks to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters near reefs and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your board.

 

Stand up paddle board is a very affordable activity too. It requires very little gear—just a board and paddle, hence the name. You can try it out for an hour or be out on the water all day on a touring excursion.

#2 Kayaking

Like stand up paddle boarding, kayaking is another popular way to traverse the beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and around the cays. It’s a quiet and non-intrusive way to get close up pictures of wildlife like iguanas and birds.

 

Any accessible waterway can be explored by kayak while you’re on the Turks and Caicos islands. You don’t have to stay on one island either. Kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport with boats and trailers.

 

Kayaks can easily be the highlight your entire Turks and Caicos stay. Become a part of a private multi-day kayak expedition where you will camp or travel inn-to-inn to explore nature reserves and the endless beaches.

 

If you’ve already reached your preferred tan, you can kayak during sunset. Enjoy a completely different experience in cooler temperatures and watch the sky light up in fiery shades of red. You’ll also see completely different marine life as the nocturnal creatures swap with their daytime counterparts to take their turn on and around the reefs.

 

Similarly to stand up paddle boarding, kayak rentals are reasonable and there are a variety of options.

#3 Snorkeling and Diving

Turks and Caicos has marvelous conditions for underwater activities: great weather, warm and clear water, and shallow reefs teeming with fish, coral and marine life.

 

Snorkeling and diving is a real treat that you can partake in every single day you’re on the islands. You can’t get sick of either—there are just too many snorkel and dive sites to visit and no two are the same.

 

In fact, there are snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites.  Knowledgeable guides can help you identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

 

If you’re more comfortable with deep waters, Turks and Caicos is a tough place to beat in terms of quality dive sites. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

#4 Kiteboarding

For a unique experience, try kiteboarding. With the islands located in an intersection of trade winds and surrounded by beaches that are shallow for hundreds of feet out, kiteboarding can be a great activity for beginners and experts alike.

 

Since Turks and Caicos is such a hotspot for kiteboarding, it’s easy to find PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors with decades of experience. It won’t take long for beginners to get a good run or an advanced intermediate to pick up and refine the more flashy techniques.

#5 Whale Watching

November to February are great months to spot whales in the Turks and Caicos. This season coincides with the humpback whale migration as they transit towards their northern feeding grounds. You might even catch sights of a few calves as the Caribbean is a known breeding ground.

 

These, of course, are chance encounters. However, if there’s an opportunity, you can bet we’ll let you know when you’re out on a snorkeling or diving excursion. If we catch wind of whales nearby, we’ll pack up your gear and make our way over to give you a chance to snorkel or dive with whales!

 

The opportunity to swim with these majestic creatures shouldn’t be missed.

 

Do… Everything?

Depending on how long your trip is, it might be possible to do every one of these activities. You don’t even have to do them separately. You can sign up for private charters that can take you to places most tourists don’t even see.
These charters aren’t operated by small dinghies. They’re sizable boats that can store kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling and diving gear, so you don’t have to pick and choose.



How to Book and Enjoy A Stand Up Paddle Board Vacation

10th May 2017 7:37 am

Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most popular activities to do on calm waters. Fortunately, the islands of Turks and Caicos are surrounded completely by calm waters, which makes it a great destination for stand up paddle boarding.

 

But what is stand up paddle boarding and why do so many people find it so fun?

 

Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP) has a low bar for entry, which makes it great for nearly everyone. It requires very little gear—a board and paddle—and it takes only moments for even the greenest beginners to get the hang of it.

 

Once you have the equipment, you can take yourself out and navigate the beach, wetland, marsh, river, lake, and more.

Why Do Stand Up Paddle Board on Vacation?

With so many activities you can do while vacationing in Turks and Caicos, why even consider stand up paddle boarding? We already mentioned that it’s easy to start, but it’s also what you make of it. Here are some different ways you can enjoy stand up paddle boarding on your vacation.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding As A Workout

Yes, vacationing should be about letting yourself go: Order the fresh lobster sauteed in extra butter, and don’t forget to end dinner with a slice (or two) of tiramisu cake.

 

But if you’re the type that needs to keep your calorie intake and expenditure in check, SUP is a great form of exercise while on a Caribbean vacation. Don’t coop yourself up in your resort’s gym. Take your exercise to the beaches and enjoy the sun and waters. You’ll paddle directly over barrier reefs and countless fishes and other marine life.

 

SUP is a full-body workout that activates your core, shoulders, glutes, and calves, and your sense of balance is constantly tested. Like jogging or rowing, you decide how fast and how far you want to go.

 

Want a little competition? Race the shark behind you!

 

Just kidding.

 

While grey reef sharks are common in barrier reefs and nurse and juvenile lemon sharks can be seen in the wetlands, there have only been three recorded shark attacks in the entire Turks and Caicos archipelago with zero cases of fatalities or loss of limb.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding As Leisure Activity

SUP can easily double as a leisure activity. Your SUP hourly rentals don’t come with a personal trainer so you can go as slowly and rest as often as you like.

 

Besides, what’s the rush? You can see straight through the crystal clear water to the reefs below your board, which are packed with vibrantly colorful and active life.

 

You can even time your stand up paddle board experience with the beautiful sunset. It’s a completely different experience to be on the water while the sky gently turns from bright blue to fiery orange, red and deep shades of purple. Life that was active during the day now goes to sleep and the nocturnal marine life wakes up to take their turn on and around the reefs.

Explore the Islands with Stand Up Paddle Boards

There are areas where SUP or kayaks are the best forms of transportation. Turks and Caicos, while it can be a luxurious retreat, is also teeming with wildlife.

 

Skim the waters of nearby mangrove channels and explore the national parks and nature reserves. Because SUPs are human powered, you can get up close and personal with birds and iguanas without scaring them away with loud and noxious engines.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding Is Family Friendly

If you’re on a family holiday, SUP is perfect to enjoy time with the entire family whether your family has children, teens, or adults.

 

Children and adults alike can enjoy learning and exploring on stand up paddle boards. Even if every family member is a beginner at stand up paddle boarding, there’s no shortage of accomplished and expert instructors that can teach you the fundamentals. Your family will be on your way with just a few instructions and a few minutes of practice.

Where to Stand Up Paddle Board in Turks and Caicos?

Stand up paddle boarding can be done in many places in Turks and Caicos. You can do it in the mangroves of North and Middle Caicos or above the reefs of Providenciales. You can even bring SUP equipment with you on charter boats and explore secluded beaches and cays that aren’t seen by the general public.

 

Rest assured, there is no shortage of beautiful stand up paddle boarding sites on Turks and Caicos.

Planning Your Stand Up Paddle Board Vacation

When you’re ready to book your stand up paddle board vacation, whether it’s an hour-long workout or a three-day eco tour, there are several things you should look for.

 

Instructors

Even though stand up paddle boarding is relatively easy and straightforward, you are always at the mercy of the tides. Nothing can beat the power of the ocean.

 

Make sure that you are able to feel comfortable on the water and using the equipment. Always feel free to ask for an instructor. They know their equipment and locations better than anyone. Listen to their advice and pointers and follow their instructions and you will be able to fully appreciate how fun the sport is.

 

Weather and Season

Weather and ocean conditions can be fickle. While things can change on the day of your booking, you can still make plans to an extent.

 

For example, September to November is a great time to paddle board. In addition to historically great conditions, it also coincides with the annual Kalama Kamp. Kalama Kamp is a weeklong paddle board adventure that is hosted by Dave Kalama, a legendary Hawaiian surfer.

 

This experience couples paddle board instructions with wilderness, backcountry, and wave safaris to make stand up paddle boarding a truly memorable adventure.

 

Finding the Stand Up Paddle Board Experience for YOU
There won’t be any shortage of stand up paddle board rentals on Turks and Caicos. So whether you just want to workout for an hour or go on a four-hour sightseeing tour, you can sleep soundly knowing that your stand up paddle board booking can accommodate you.



Unique wedding activities when getting married in Turks and Caicos

30th April 2017 7:36 am

It’s hard to top getting married in Turks and Caicos. The spectacular white sand beaches and stunning turquoise waters gives you plenty of opportunities to create picture-perfect moments.

 

Having your wedding or honeymoon in Turks and Caicos will put you in a small but elite group as well. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Tony Parker and Eva Longoria, and Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld all married or honeymooned here.

 

But more importantly, a Turks and Caicos wedding will put you in the perfect place for what REALLY matters: the honeymoon. We’ve previously mentioned some of the most luxurious Turks and Caicos resorts (many of which, offer wedding catering), but this island nation is also the premier location for some of the most exciting Caribbean excursions and activities.

 

Whale Watching

Any wedding can have a live band. But it’s truly a breathtaking moment when you and your new spouse gets serenaded by migrating humpback whales on their way south to their winter feeding grounds (or seas).

 

Whale watching in Turks and Caicos is one of the most memorable experiences for tourists. The best times for whale watching is from December to April, so definitely consider this activity if your wedding or honeymoon falls within this timeframe.

 

While the appearance of these majestic creatures can’t be guaranteed, we can promise that we would make the effort to spot them. Even if you’re doing a snorkel or diving trip, the moment whales get spotted, all of our boats are alerted.

 

Kayaking

With calm waters and shallow channels, kayaking is a favorite visitor activity. Whether you’re paddling into the sunset or just drifting under a full moon, kayaking gives you many ways to enjoy the waters.

 

Many parts of the islands are made of forests of mangroves. If you and your spouse are both adventurists, then kayaking is the best way to truly explore your Caribbean paradise. You’ll learn about the mangrove habitats, coastal ecology, island fauna and flora, and spot animals like iguanas and birds. You can even do multi-day kayaking trips for a truly unique experience.

 

Because a kayaking excursion is whatever you and your spouse make of it, it is a great honeymooning activity whether you are beginners or experienced kayakers.

 

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Like kayaking, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a great activity for active newlyweds. And when you go on a Turks and Caicos stand up paddleboarding excursion, you can easily paddle your way into an island national park and nature reserve made up of mangrove forests, channels, coral reefs, and cays.

 

However, if you want a more low-key honeymoon, SUP can also be a relaxing alternative. With calm, clear waters, SUP gives you an unobstructed view beneath the waves surrounding the islands without getting your hair wet.

 

So whether you want an easy 90-minute sightseeing trip or a four-hour adventure, stand up paddleboarding is a low-cost activity that offers the best of both worlds.

 

Kiteboarding

For a truly unique experience, it’s tough to beat kiteboarding on your honeymoon. With year round trade winds, warm ocean waters, shallow coastline, and scenic beaches, couples can let loose after a tightly scheduled wedding.

 

Even if both of you are kiteboarding beginners, our team of instructors has decades of combined experience that will get you cruising on the waves in mere hours.

 

Snorkeling

Put the wedding out of your mind and focus on exploring the coastal marine ecosystem with your new husband or wife. From beautiful reefs to vibrantly colored fish, snorkeling in the calm waters of the islands is one of the best ways to relax after a hectic wedding.

 

The Turks and Caicos islands have plenty of snorkeling sites to choose from, with no two experiences being the same. Snorkel during the night is an entirely different experience from the day, with different creatures taking their turn to be active. Or embark on an adventure like a snorkel cruise or snorkel ecotour or even combine with it stand up paddleboarding.

 

Or, you can keep it intimate with a private snorkeling excursion that will take you to secluded sites and beaches.

 

SCUBA Diving

People from all over the world go to Turks and Caicos for SCUBA diving. And when it comes to diving, smaller is better. New couples will join small groups to keep their diving experiences more intimate, and giving them greater opportunities to see the amazing marine life of coral reefs and walls without the disruptions of too many divers.

 

Dive the world-class reefs and walls in Grace Bay, Pine Cay, NW Point, French Cay and in West Caicos at your leisure. Spend the entire day traveling from site to site to dive unique locations. With favorable conditions and luck, you might even get to swim with whales and dolphins!

 

If you’re both new to diving, there are even diving courses that’ll get you comfortable in the open water.

 

Private Charters

You chose wisely when you decided on a Turks and Caicos wedding or honeymoon. The Caribbean islands are beautiful and there’s no better way for a newly married couple to see it than on an intimate, private charter.

 

Why limit yourself to a single activity when you can do it all on a private charter?

 

Cruise the nearby Caicos Cays or distant West Caicos and South Caicos with your new husband or wife. Stop if you see a spot you like and take out the paddleboards, kayaks, kiteboards, or snorkels for a private adventure.

Biking

While the beaches and ocean are some of the best places to be on a Caribbean island, the island interiors are fantastic in their own right. Enjoy whichever island you are on by bike. Biking the islands is one of the best ways you and your spouse can truly appreciate your honeymoon or wedding location.

 

You can do it on your own (some villas offer complimentary bicycles to their guests) or join a bike tour.

 

The North Caicos biking eco-tour will take you on a 12-mile tour of North Caicos’ interior. You’ll see the farming community of Kew, the Wade’s Green cotton plantation ruins, and the 250-feet deep blue hole, Cottage Pond.

 

So What’s Next?

No matter what you plan to do, your Turks and Caicos wedding or honeymoon will be spectacular. It can be relaxing or it can be full of adventure. In both cases, Big Blue Collective is dedicated to helping you create a memorable experience of your first days as a married couple.



Epic New SUP and Kayak Territory on TCI

15th January 2012 1:33 pm

Mark and Philip were joined by an old friend and long time Big Blue client, Andy and sneaked out on the Natural Mystic to find some new SUP and Kayak territory close to home. The fact is we hit bull’s eye! New and extended range trips coming soon. We are super stoked to find this new stash. Keep an eye out for our new SUP trips and Kayak Adventures.